Glitz and glamour was the order of the day at the Heritage Hotel recently as the Portlaoise Active Retired Association celebrated their 10th birthday.
More than 80 members walked the red carpet and received a welcome drink on arrival followed by an excellent four-course lunch.
Hotel staff pulled out all the stops to make them feel welcome and ensured a most memorable day. A full afternoon hosted by Andy McQuillann took the audience down memory lane narrating the full story of Portlaoise ARA from inception up to the present day.
Liam Dollard of 65 Kitchen Choir fame was MC for the day. His comical anecdotes when commenting on the club’s past outings and holidays were highly entertaining.
The group was also delighted to have Mai Quaid CEO ARA Ireland accompanied by her husband present at this prestigious event. She presented each escorted past president with a specially inscribed tribute award together with a lovely floral corsage. In her speech she congratulated their achievements and marvelled on how well dressed everyone was down to the men in their James Bond look of black suit and bow tie. How resplendent the ladies were in their high fashion evening wear.
Trudy Nealon (Silver Surfer Award Winner) directed and produced a very professional photo slide show detailing our many outings at home and abroad. These were projected on to large wall screens. Current members were amazed at being reminded of how much had been packed into ten years.
Maureen Culleton, professional to her fingertips as always, covered the music and dancing to end a very enjoyable day.
The afternoon’s festivities were a tribute in itself to all those who initiated the very first meeting of the club and all meetings since then.
Hats off to Andy who steps down this year as chairperson. His leadership and hard work with support from his wife Maura and those who proceeded him together with strong committees leave a lasting legacy which will continue well into the future. This being his brainchild, Andy closed the 10th anniversary celebrations of Portlaoise Active Retirement Club.